Unlock the Full Potential of Your Summer Break

Erica Brunner
Unlock the Full Potential of Your Summer Break

Summer break is here at last! After countless assignments, exams, papers, projects, etc., it’s time to take a mental break and recharge. Although the lengthy summer break is well-needed and deserved, it’s imperative to take this opportunity to expand your skills and knowledge beyond the textbooks and lectures. Because summer break is only a few short months, it is important to use your time in a way that will benefit you most in your academic, professional, and personal ventures. This post will explore a few of the ways that you can make your summer the best it can be!

Unlock Professional Growth

Erica Brunner 260x300
Erica Brunner, Assistant Director of Student Success

One way that you can make your summer successful and productive is by working toward your professional goals. There are a couple different ways to go about this, it just depends on what you want to do!

Land a Summer Job

Having a summer job allows you to not only build your skills and work experience for your resume, but can also give you the opportunity to save up for the semester! Having some money set aside for the semester is helpful, especially for students who do not want to balance a job with their academics. 

Volunteer and Make a Difference

Another great way to build experience is volunteering! Although not formal employment experience, volunteer work can provide you with a lot of skills that employers look for. On top of these benefits, volunteer work is rewarding for many and is something you can take pride in doing!

Revamp Your Resume

Take the summer to sit and analyze your resume. Add relevant information from the school year, remove things that may be irrelevant or outdated, and update your experiences! It is extremely important to keep an updated resume, and summer is the perfect time to make sure everything is accurate!

Pursue Internships and Shadowing Opportunities 

A final method to building your professional future over the summer is by looking into internships and shadowing opportunities. By researching these early, you can make yourself aware of application and hiring requirements.

Embrace Personal Ventures

Although preparing for your career is important, it is equally as important to take some time for yourself! Summer is a time for students to decompress and take a breath, and it is important to make sure you give yourself the space to rest and prepare for the next semester. 

Prioritize Self-Care

After the academic year concludes, it is important to take time and take care of yourself! Many students find themselves overwhelmed during the semester, and summer break is a great time to get back to taking care of what makes you feel best.

Embark on Travels and Day Trips

With the extra free time, do some exploring! Whether it be a vacation or an affordable day trip, you could use this time to see a new place or experience new things. 

Give yourself a break!

It is important to remember that your summer does not have to be as busy and ‘productive’ as the semester. Taking some time to relax and have fun can help you to feel rejuvenated and prevent burnout. You work hard during the semester, take some time to reward yourself!

Set Yourself Up for Academic Success 

Finally, an impactful way to use your summer is building and honing in on skills that will assist you with the rest of your academic career. Over the summer, you can reflect on what worked for you this year, and what didn’t. There are many ways to do this, including: 

  • Revising Note Taking and Study Habits
  • Look over old assignments
  • Work on time management skills
  • Revisit and familiarize yourself with Widener resources
  • Work on a research project

Although thinking about school during this break may seem overwhelming, it can help you to be as successful as possible in the long run!

No matter how you choose to spend your time away from school, it is important to celebrate your achievements throughout the year. Congratulate yourself for all the hard work you’ll put in, and prepare yourself for what is to come. None of these examples are one-size-fits-all, and it is important to think about what will be most beneficial to you and your needs. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! 

Erica Brunner is the Assistant Director of Student Success, a dedicated higher education professional who began her career in student affairs with a passion for helping students succeed. Her commitment to student support started over five years ago at Widener University as an academic support specialist, and she earned her master's degree in counseling education before taking on her current role.